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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Batribike at Westminster eBike Meeting

Batribike was in London yesterday to attend a meeting of the APPCG (All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group) at the House of Commons. Andrew Sealous MP who is co-chair of the group, chaired the meeting.
Electric bikes are a huge part of the cycle economy in Europe whilst we are a little behind, here in the UK. Subsidies and incentives are being rolled out in many European countries to encourage riders to get out of their cars and take to two wheels.

The meeting was to look at ways of growing the electric bike market in the UK.

Steve Edgell, Director of Cycle Solutions and Chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance, stated that, in his opinion the clear way forward is to lift the Cycle to Work Scheme limit from £1000 to £2500. The mechanism is in place for this solution and results can clearly be measured by the uptake. He said that there was currently no funding or mechanism in place to provide an ebike subsidy. He believes that lower wage earners will benefit most, as they will be able to save on commuting costs.

30 miles of cycling a week, can reduce cancer risks by 46%

Will Butler-Adams, CEO of Brompton, spoke about health benefits. He said that obesity and mental health problems are now at crisis point and that unless something is done the NHS will be unable to cope in the future. He believes that more people cycling could have a positive impact on the NHS. Key facts are that 30 miles of cycling a week, (including ebikes) can reduce cancer risks by 46%. He also said that people who use ebikes do more cardio-vascular exercise (not at the highest rate) because they cycle for longer.

Only 4% of Londoners are cyclists - but 99% can ride a bike.

He stated that only 4% of Londoners are cyclists - but 99% can ride a bike. What we need is something to start the process of getting more people on ebikes. We need the Government to kick-start the process, once it is started it will continue to build.

Laura Dyett, Senior project manager for Behavioural Change at TfL, said that they are starting a website and a campaign to get more people to take a test ride on an ebike. She said that other local authorities should follow suit.

The meeting was then open for questions and comment.

Raising the Cycle to Work limit could make a step change in cycling and would be a small cost to government

Phillip Darnton, Executive Director of the Bicycle Association, said that as much pressure as possible should be put on Government to raise the Cycle to Work limit, even if it is for 5 years. This could see a step change in cycling and would be a small cost to government. France and Germany are already ahead with their subsidies on ebikes. The real advantage of electric bikes is that they are for different types of people making journeys.

Real people in everyday clothing, making transport choices

The overwhelming feeling of the meeting was that electric bike riders are not cyclists, they are real people in everyday clothing making transport choices, whether that be for commuting or leisure.

Electric bikes can, and will, make a difference to health and the environment.

It was good to be at the meeting and hear the opinions from many different organisations – all believing that electric bikes can, and will, make a difference to health and the environment.

On top of that we got to be in an amazing building too.



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